Before an audience that filled the Living Room of the Union, Mr. George Leigh Mallory described the attempt to ascend Mount Everest which took place last May. Professor Theodore Lyman '97, president of the Harvard Travelers' Club, introduced the speaker. Mr. Mallory introduced his speech by asking "What is the purpose of climing Mount Everest?" He answered his question by saying in jest tha tit was of no use other than to fulfill the desire of geologists for a stone from the summit and to show physiologists at just what altitude human life became impossible.
Slides were then thrown on the screen showing the exact location and the topography in the neighborhood of the peak. Taking his subject well in hand Mr. Mallory described in detail the expedition's first attempt to scale the mountain last May. After establishing five camps the party fell short of reaching their destination by 2,000 feet. They would have gone further but the third member of the party became ill and in order not to leave him to die, it was decided to turn back.
"It was on the second attempt", continued Mr. Mallory, 'that it was decided to use oxygen". The oxygen tanks which weighed 32 pounds, proved unsuccessful because of their weight. It was on this trip that the record height of 27,235 feet was reached.
It was on the third and final attempt that the only fatalities of the trip occurred; seven helpers being killed by an avalanche and Mr. Mallory himself escaping death only by the narrowest of margins. "Mt. Everest is asking for trouble", said Mr. Mallory in conclusion, "and some day you will hear a different story than I can tell you tonight".